For this article the second part for learning to play the bass guitar for beginners. Last time we played a few notes on the low E string of the bass, this time we will have a look at some of the notes on the A string. We will also learn to play notes over the low E and A string.
Here is a quick review for those who are not familiar with the notesystem used for musical instruments such as the guitar, bassguitar, keyboards and other musical instruments.
The notes are grouped in the alphabeth called the Musical Alphabeth. The order of the notes is as follows:
c# d# f# g# a#
C D E F G A B C
When you count all the notes you will get to 13 individual notes, notice you do have two C’s in this set of notes. A set of notes going from a low note to a higher note ( the example above from C to C) is called an Octave. An Octave does not have to start on a C, it can start on any note. As long as you go up from any low note to the same note but now higher up it is called an Octave.
When we apply the above to the open A string of the Bass guitar we will see that the open A string is called an A, go 12 frets up, where you see the 2 dots on your fretboard, this note is also an A but it is an Octave higher than the low, open A string. This idea applies to all the strings of the Bassguitar: On the 12th fret you will find the Octave for the low E, A, D and G string.
Looking at the other notes on the A string we see the open A, on the first fret of the A string you will find the A#. Look at the musical alphabeth, after the A you will see the A#, the A# is one step higher than the A note. Think of this note as a higher version of the A note. On the second fret we will see the B note, again, look at the alphabeth and you will see what the next note will be. The note after B is a C and you will see the C on the 3rd fret of the A string.
Playing Notes Over the E and A string:
Last time we played a handful of notes on the low E, now we will play a handful of notes over the E and A striing.
Here is the tablature for the notes we will be playing:
E F G F
A ——-2——–2 ———3——-3—- ——–5——–5— ——-3———–3——-
E –0——-0—– –1———-1——– —3———-3—— —1———–1————
Count 1 2 3 4
In the above tab. you will see some four bars of bass guitar music. A bar is a small section of music. Above each bar you will see a letter. This letter represents a chord. The chord is there in case you play along with someone else. The chord can be played by a guitar or keyboard.
The numbers underneath are the notes you will be playing on the bass guitar. There is only one open note, all the other notes are fretted notes. Use your left hand to play the fretted notes, use your first 9 (or index) finger for all fretted notes on the low E string and use your second (or middle) finger for all the notes on the A string.
The names of the open E and A string are given right at the beginning of the tab.
Use your right hand to pick the strings, alternate (just as what was mentioned in bass article) between index and middle finger, let your thumb rest on one of the pick-ups of the bass (or somewhere on the body of the guitar, in case you are using a guitar instead of bass guitar)
Make sure you play slowly in the beginning, keep a steady pace, you can count for each note you play one count. In the space of one bar you will get four counts, play slowly and steady at first. Once you can play all four bars increase the tempo of your playing while still keeping a steady pace.
Hope to catch you soon again for more updates.